I live with my wife and children in a very safe neighborhood, but since we live near East Palo Alto, which is a shithole ethnically-diverse community with different socio-economic characteristics, there is some property crime on occasion.
For instance, we once have a virtually-worthless cell phone stolen from the glove compartment of our unlocked car in the driveway. After this happened, I decided to put in some home security, so after visiting Fry’s, I bought some security cameras and a DVR manufactured by Swann, which seems to be the vendor-of-choice around here.
Well, it was OK – – in other words, adequate. It kinda sorta recorded what was going on. And I could kinda sorta see what was happening. And, if I really put my mind to it, there was supposed to be some kind of way I could access the DVR via the Internet and, with sufficient patience, rewind through the footage to try to see prior footage. I didn’t bother with that last bit, because, frankly, it just didn’t seem worth the effort.
A few weeks ago, I happened to read an article about Dropcam, which was supposed to be an easy-to-set-up, Internet-friendly security camera. I bought one, and Sweet Jesus in Heaven, this thing is wonderful. So much so, that I bought two more.
This is one of those products that is obviously very well thought out (so it’s no surprise that the founders are probably going to make a fortune selling their firm). It’s a cinch to set up for either PC or Mac, the software is sophisticated and powerful, and the image resolution is fantastically crisp. I. Love. This. Product.
And although I am not about to do so, you can make your Dropcam public. There are many Dropcams out there that can be accessed by anyone with a browser (like, oh, say, the GoatCam). I can look at any of my cameras in real time on either a computer or my iPhone; I can listen to what’s going on; I can speak through them; I can scroll back to any point in history to see what was happening (not just a still image, but like a time machine – – I can watch it like a movie). From top to bottom, this thing is awesome.
So while the Swann before seemed simply OK, now I would probably choose different descriptions. “Sucks Whale” leaps to mind. My Swann system compared to Dropcam is sort of like my original TRS-80 Model I compared to the Macintosh Powerbook I’m typing on right now. There’s simply no comparison. I don’t think Swann is public, but if it were, I’d be loading up on puts.
Amazon sells the High-Resolution Dropcam for 199.95, but frankly I didn’t see the need for high-resolution, so I got the Standard Dropcam instead, which costs 25% less. If you’re thinking of some kind of of security camera (or if you just want to peek in on your pets while you’re at work), you should seriously check it out.